Eventually, the FC St. Pauli loses at SC Paderborn deservedly with 0-2. It was one of the most unnecessary and annoying losses of the season. Because the team is to blame for the fact that they didn’t use any of their many chances to score a goal.
(Cover picture by Peter Boehmer)
Well, how right was I about the exact line-up: I expected a back-line of four but with completely different players in it. No Paqarada (Buballa began instead), no Knoll and Ziereis (who wasn’t in the squad actually), no Zander (instead Ohlsson played on the right). After the friendly against Werder Bremen and the impressions of the previous league-matches, this was no longer a witch-craft prediction, however, I also assumed some valid arguments for a 4-2-3-1 which was brought to the pitch against Paderborn now.
The SC Paderborn did not change their line-up compared to those who won against Darmstadt and coach Steffen Baumgart did also announce at the pre-match press conference that he didn’t see any necessity to change something.
Nevertheless, it became a different match for the SC Paderborn compared to the Darmstadt-match, in which they deservedly led by 3-0 after 30 minutes. Only the points scored for the table were identical.
It worked – nevertheless in arrears
The FCSP played a good, no rather a very good match and has to wonder WHY THE FUCK they were behind at half-time!!! Only seldom or maybe never before, we were able to witness such a stable team during this season such as the one which put some serious tasks to SC Paderborn during the first half. The convincing friendly against Werder Bremen did show that the FCSP gained a not expected stability while playing a 4-2-3-1 without losing their strengths with regards to their transition play.
Thus, SC Paderborn had a tough time with the tight 4-2-2-2 (3x 2 as Dittgen and Lankford were positioned more offensive than Becker/Zalazar while pressing deeply). The result: A lot of ball possession for SCP, as the FCSP did only seldom try to press highly until the 0-2. The high number of ball possession did only cause a very limited number of promising chances for SCP.
Instead, FCSP switched quickly after ball gains and could thus cause a high number of promising chances. Quite appealing. Actually a lot. And if only Maximilian Dittgen would have managed to score a few more goals from the chances he had during this season already, I would not have to write about disappointment later in this text. But it wasn’t only Max Dittgen who had plenty of chances to take the lead. Also, Kyereh and Makienok did have their chances, even Lankford who played very impressively during the first half could have scored a goal. But they didn’t. Despite partly very clear chances. The clearest one was the penalty shot by Zalazar. Utter shit, but it happens.
But the even greater shite happened on the other side: In a situation, in which the opponent close to the box still has two defenders in front of him and without having any pass options, Zalazar did hopefully use a sliding tackle for the very last time. Crap. But this happened, too. And to be fair, from my point of view, the VAR would not have interfered if referee Dingert would not have used his whistle. Crap. Happens.
Was the penalty situation which caused Paderborn taking the lead a “sticking point” ? I wouldn’t say that. The sticking point was rather the scary situation shortly before the second goal was scored. But before we get to this situation, I would like to describe the build-up play of the FCSP.
The built-up play?
Wait… did I write built-up play? Compared to the rest of the season, there was a blatantly different mode of play brought to the pitch by the FCSP in Paderborn. Because there wasn’t any flat built-up. The built-up play of FCSP can completely be described with one move only:
If you search for a flat built-up play: You didn’t see any of the FCSP yesterday (at least up till the 56th minute, but we’ll shed a closer look to this disaster later).
The FCSP completely abandoned their flat built-up play and did work exclusively with long balls aiming at Simon Makienok instead. A way, which I usually name an “exit strategy” and a “Coin-Flip“, because by doing this, a 50/50 chance for the second ball emerges, proved to be successful against Paderborn. This mode of playing led to the fact that the FCSP did actually play 30 per cent (!) of their passes as long balls, which was almost every third ball played (Paderborn did only play 15 per cent of such passes though).
Do you want some more numbers? Simon Makienok did almost have the highest number of ball contacts of all FCSP-players (47, Lankford did have 55). On the SCP side, eight players had more ball contacts than their central forward Denis Srbeny (Data source for this (and the long balls): Whoscored.com).
The most impressive about the play with the long balls was not the formation of the FCSP but the lacking reaction of the SC Paderborn. Makienok could easily receive a long ball with his chest for 9-10 times (!!!), because he was passed at without any pressure from the opponent. He simply dropped from the back-line of four because the space between the central defenders and the defensive midfielder Schallenberg was spacious enough, even for Simon Makienok. This was quite remarkable and for sure not planned as such from a Paderborn’s perspective.
Last time I was able to witness such a blatant focus on long balls at FCSP was a long 18 months ago. Which was actually in the match against Paderborn in March 2019 (brilliantly analysed tactically here). It happened a long time ago (and it was actually the last win outside of Hamburg for the FCSP…).
But this play worked out pretty well from an FCSP’s perspective. I might repeat myself but I have to emphasise again that this first half must never end with being in arrear after so many promising chances.
The FCSP must and will certainly be reproached by Timo Schultz in his post-match analysis that this time it was not the defence that did not create the conditions for victory. If you create so many chances and do not manage to score a goal, it’s your own guilt.
The season so far in a nutshell? The 0-2!
The very first, honestly, the very first action in which the FCSP tried to build-up flatly turned into an absolute disaster. It was Christopher Avevor, whose ball loss led to a goal for the opponent. After he already caused a goal for the opponent against Bochum when building-up. After he caused a goal for the opponent against Nuremberg when building-up. It really hurts. For sure, him the most.
It is quite perverted that in this situation all reasons why the FCSP has not scored too many points during this season so far are almost strikingly coming together. In a match which was so different, so much better and more stable than all the previous matches. And then, you’re building up flatly for the first time, you get under pressure, you decide to rather play another long ball but you’re not doing it forceful enough and bang, you get punished instantly. Pervert.
A strong-playing defensive midfielder, who can take over the built-up play, is clearly lacking. James Lawrence on his own is not enough when all other central defenders around him are the pressing-signal in persona for the opponent teams.
What followed coercively were a lot of good transition moments for the SC Paderborn. Partly through additional mistakes and ball losses during built-up (unfortunately, it proved again that Afeez Aremu isn’t the necessary strong defensive midfielder yet), partly because of the very high pressing, which often could be weakened through simple movements. But with the FCSP being in arrear, the club was also forced to take more risks and thus to quit the actually stable play.
But even during this phase, there was a high number of good situations in the offensive section. Also, because the FCSP was now pressing highly against the ball and the SC Paderborn proved that they weren’t able to respond convincingly either.
It doesn’t get easier.
After six matches in a row without a win, I start to get a little frustrated. I am annoyed that although the FC St. Pauli was able to take the right consequences from the previous bad matches and used the international break to reform the formation, they are left empty-handed. Finally, again you did not reward yourself and it fucking doesn’t matter in this case whether you played good, crappy or something in between. We need points. Sure, Paderborn isn’t fair game either and managed to win three times in a row now. But, to focus more on the transition play and the defensive stability, they were rather well-suited because they are interested in ball possession when coached by Baumgart.
This won’t probably be the case again during the next four matches (Osnabrück, Braunschweig, Aue, Würzburg). Nevertheless will the FCSP be almost forced to win because otherwise the rest of the season could become veeeeery unpleasant. Come on you Boys in Brown!
// Tim (Translated by Arne)